Rialto Restaurant + Bar
1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA 02138
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
- Mon - Sun
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Phone: (617) 864-1200
Cuisines: Mediterranean, American, Italian, European, Seafood, Continental
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I attended a patio party here in mid-July sponsored by St Germain liquer, thanking patrons for supporting Jody Adams and Rialto through her time on Top Chef, etc. So for the food, drinks, service, and the patio space:
Food: Was hit or miss, oddly enough. The grilled littlenecks were drowning in olive oil (not the good stuff, I might add) and definitely overcooked. The battered and fried squash blossoms with goat cheese filling were tasty, but the cheese was a bit overwhelming relative to the amount of squash blossom. Octopus bruschetta was--interesting. The octopus was perfectly cooked, but the seasoning was a bit off. Too much salt perhaps? The beets with ricotta cheese was fantastic - clean flavors and a good flavor/visual contrast of the bright red, slightly sweet beets and the ivory-colored, creamy whipped ricotta. The potato, sausage, and pickle skewers were definitely not good - the sausage had great flavor and was properly cooked, the potatoes were undercooked, and the pickle was an overcooked, mushy, flavorless mess. The crab sandwiches were a bit messy and mushy, but had good flavor.
Drinks: Two options - red wine topped with prosecco with an olive and a twist OR the Terrace, an infused gin and St. Germain lowball. The wine drink was fine but nothing special (though the servers had no idea what type of wine it was), but our party of four all skipped the olive and twist as they were pretty discordant to the smoothness of the concoction. The Terrace was a delight, though it tasted nothing like St Germain or Bombay gin, and more like a piquant grapefruit juice on ice (that secretly packed a punch).
Service: Also hit or miss. I had one great beverage server who made sure my hand always had a drink in it. Another couple of servers looked me in the eye and walked by our party of four several times to give food to other parties. Additionally, whomever was working expo in the kitchen was not running enough of each item - for a patio party with 25-30 attendees, a plate of 8-12 pieces would come out, and the server could barely make it past the patio door before the plate was empty. Rather than returning with the same dish, the server returned with something different to the same situation of empty platters at the door. The platters also came out with varied frequency - at one point, 3 servers with three different items would enter together, and then there would be 15 minutes with no servers or food in sight. Finally, it became a juggling act of toothpicks and empty cocktail glasses as there simply was not enough service to continually clear our hands, an especially odd event given the fact that the restaurant inside was less than half full. This just wasn't what I had expected give the rave reviews below.
The Patio Space: This patio kinda... stinks. It's tiny, barely 10' by 20', the ceiling, while it provided some decent shade is rather low, and you have a glorious view of... other people eating. In better looking spaces at Legal's and Henrietta's Table. And unattractive buildings. I wouldn't hold my breath or wait an extra long time for a table out there.
I adore oysters, the aftertaste of sea, the freshness and briny goodness cut through a zingy squirt of lemon and a splash of hot sauce. Delish. Add some good company, and it's a party. Go on Mondays, when it's just a dollar apiece at the bar.
If you are looking for passable food at grotesquely inflated prices with a surly, pretentious maitre 'd, then this just may be the place for you. As a bonus you will get a noisy environment, food you may have to send back multiple times until they get it ""right"", and you may be lucky enough to get a table sized for your kindergardener. How do you have more fun than that? You can do better just about anywhere (in fact, I have). Never again. I gave it one star only because that's the lowest rating this review service would accept.
My wife and I were in a party of four at 7:00 p.m. 16 Aug for ""restaurant week"" None in the party wanted to cause a commotion so we didn't complain. None would would return. As I wanted to try something new, I opted for the Fisherman's Soup and the Spinach & Cheese Ravioli. The soup was too salty to to try more than a few spoonfuls. The 5 or 6 thin revilli were tasted only of salt .
The bread and wine were excellent.
My friend and I volunteer at a prison and often have lunch prepared by the residents.
Prision food is far superior to Rialto, How do they get away with it ???
Yes, this place is very expensive, but if you want to treat yourself to a great meal with fabulous service you will get your money's worth. I went there with my family to celebrate a birthday and everyone loved their food. The waitress was excellent and was able to answer any question about the menu--she knew her stuff. The amibiance is nice and it is quiet so you can have nice conversation without shouting. I've been to many expensive restaurants and this is one of the few where I wouldn't mind shelling out the big bucks--it is worth it. They also give you delicious biscottis with the check. If you have some occasion and want to really treat yourself, I would try this place. The menu changes all the time as well, so you will never get bored.
Our first visit to the Rialto and we were blown away by it. Firstly, it looks beautiful- elegant, spare yet luxurious, welcoming, warm without being fussy. Secondly the staff, from the greeter to our waiter, were delightful- professional, attentive without being intrusive, knowledgeable and made the whole experience an utter delight. The food was fantastic- flavorful, correctly portioned, seasonal, light, fresh and made sense. We were not overwhelmed by too many choices, yet did not feel bullied into picking just one or two. The dessert menu matched the main menu and did not seem, as it does in so many other fine dining places, a boring but necessary formality. The whole place quietly breathes confidence and grace, understated but definitely special and we will be back there as soon as possible.
After a few poor experiences with Restaurant Week in the past I went to Rialto with average expectations. I guess this made it all the more pleasing when I had an amazing meal with exceptional service. Our waiter guided us through the menu and made some great suggestions. The additions to the prix fixe menu were quite easy to follow, I thought, despite what another reviewer has said. IE If you want X, add $Y to the cost of the meal. Perhaps it was the amazing cocktails (but pricey, $14) that blurred the concept.
I debated over my main course several times and ordered the roasted chicken at the last moment thinking it contrary to my normal fare and thinking that it must be amazing in a place of this caliber. My mates agreed hands down that ""I won"" with the best dish of the night. The flavors were amazing and the gratin that came with it was just as pleasing.
All the others can learn a few things from Rialto's approach to Restaurant week: treat it as if it were any other event by offering fresh, flavorful and earnest portions of food.
My wife and I spent a rare evening dining out without the kids. She did a lot of research and came up with Rialto as the destination. We called to make reservations and were told only 6 PM and 8 PM are available for a Saturday night. We took the 6 PM resies. When we got there, barely 1/10 of the tables were occupied. In fact, by the time we left at 7:45 PM, the place was half empty! The service was below average. The waitress walked by our table at least 6 times without clearing our dishes after we were done. She never bothered to ask how things were after delivering our meal. The food was not much to write home about. I had the Cod fish special, which was very tender but quite bland at the same time. My wife ordered the duck, a heaping portion, but on the tough side. We did not stick around for dessert and opted for Au Bon Pain down the street. It is a stuffy restaurant and too expensive for the food and service. Save your money and go elsewhere for a gourmet meal.
Boston celebrates the restaurant week to pay respect to the world class restaurateurs in town and Bostonians who makes them better. Tonight, I had the WORST experience of dinning in my entire life. When my best friend and I walked into the restaurant, we had no hostess greeting us. After 20 mins of waiting, we were seated at the table of six with five other people, creating a harmonious table for seven. On the menu, we were puzzled by extra costs for adding side dishes to preselected and priced meal. Later while taking the last bite of not-so-fresh duck, my unnamed (never introduced himself) asked if he could take my dish away (not asking if I am finished). I am still going out to another restaurant tomorrow night to participate in this wonderful celebration and thank many good people in Boston restaurant scene. I have been to the Rialto a couple of times before, but the truth is quality never lived up to my expectations. I hope the Rialto management will realize the true quality of excellent dinning is often felt as walking away from the restaurant receiving thanks from friends whom I had invited for a night of outing to create a life time memory.
After reading the reviews, I was already expecting great food and service. However, the food, ambiance, and service exceeded my expectations! My friends and I went for restaurant week, but we ordered on top of the prix fixe menu. If you enjoy duck, the crispy duck is fantastic! What I enjoyed most about the food was that every bit of food on the entree had flavor! The salad on the side was not just for ""garnish"" or ""decoration"" but for EATING! My glass of water did no go empty!
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